Smart Leads Team USA To FIBA U19 World Championship Finals
Oklahoma State sophomore Marcus Smart and the USA Basketball Men's U19 team walloped Lithuania 100-60 here Saturday night in the semifinals of the FIBA U19 World Championships. Smart led all scorers with 18 points.
Smart scored his points efficiently, connecting on 6-of-8 shots from the floor, including 2-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc, and 4-of-4 free throws. He also recorded three rebounds, two assists and a steal in 18 minutes. He was one of five Americans to reach double figures as the United States scored 100 or more points for the fourth time in eight games.
Smart scored the first two points for the Americans just 15 seconds into the contest and the U.S. led the rest of the game. A 25-16 lead at the end of the first period ballooned to 21 at halftime, 47-26. By the end of the third quarter, the United States held a 72-44 advantage and coasted to victory.
Smart has 20 steals in the tournament and is tied for the fourth-most by an American at the FIBA U19 World Championships, matching Buck Johnson's total in 1983. Patrick Beverly holds the USA record for steals in a tournament with 31, while Stephen Curry and Johnny Flynn both had 22 that same year.
The United States (8-0) will play Serbia (7-1) in the gold-medal game on Sunday at 1:15 pm CT in the O2 Arena. The game will be streamed by FIBA.tv and available on ESPN3 or WatchESPN. The Americans defeated Serbia 71-62 in the final round of pool play on Wednesday. The USA Men's U19 squad is now 3-1 all-time against Serbia, including a 74-69 loss in the 2007 gold-medal game.
FIBA U19 World Championship
Saturday, July 6 (Championship Semifinals)
Serbia 63, Australia 58
United States 100, Lithuania 60
Sunday, July 7
7th/8th Place Game -- Croatia (5-3) vs China (3-5) 6:15 am CT
5th/6th Place Game -- Spain (6-2) vs Canada (4-4) 8:30 am CT
Bronze Medal Game -- Australia (4-4) vs Lithuania (6-2) 11 am CT
Gold Medal Game -- Serbia (7-1) vs United States (8-0) 1:15 pm CT